Saturday, April 23, 2011

Check This Out: Shark Tank On ABC

"Check This Out" is a little segment on which I name a form of entertainment that I feel that you should check out. It's kind of like "Excellent Reads," only with more variety. In this instance, "Check This Out" is going to be about a TV show, "Shark Tank" in particular. It's an exciting Friday night show, and yes, while Friday is the dead zone for many TV shows, "Shark Tank" is far from a dead show. It's a highly entertaining show that features ideas, business people, and money. If you think "The Apprentice" and Donald Trump are entertaining, then you're really going to enjoy "Shark Tank." If you're not a fan of "The Apprentice" and Donald Trump, then this may be more of your cup of tea.

In the business world, "Sharks" refer to business people looking to make an investment in other companies, products, and brands. On "Shark Tank," five successful business people are presented with an idea (usually a product) and they ask for a certain amount of money for a percentage of the company. Afterward, the sharks decide whether or not they want to invest and give their own deals. If the entrepreneur with the idea accepts the deal, then the deal goes forward, depending on whether or not the deal was completed after we see on the show.

The "sharks," seated from left to right include Kevin Harrington, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec. Each of them comes from a different field. Kevin Harrington is from the field of infomercials, Daymond John from the field of fashion (he started "FUBU" in his basement), Kevin O'Leary from the field of toys (he sold his company to Mattel for over three billion dollars), Barbara Corcoran from the field of real estate, and Robert Herjavec from the field of software. This shows a wide variety of business people from a wide range of backgrounds.

In the second season, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and comedian Jeff Foxworthy (who has sold redneck books, calendars, jerky, and launched several careers) have alternated as guest sharks, sitting in Kevin Harrington's spot. To be quite honest, I don't think the show needs guest sharks in order to achieve success. At the end of the day, Kevin Harrington may stand out the least when it comes to personality, but I feel he brings a lot to the table when it comes to inside knowledge. This is someone who is a pioneer in the field of infomercials, those product promotion commercials that have made Billy Mays and Oxi-Clean a household name. I have also noticed that Cuban and Foxworthy have not made many investments during their time on the show, but we still have more to see from them.

If there's anybody that makes the show, it would definitely have to be Kevin O'Leary. He is the brutally honest businessman on the show who puts the pedal to the medal. He's good at getting the other sharks started up and tells it exactly like it is. He's also not afraid to speak what's on his mind, no matter how brutal it may sound. The other sharks tend to be pretty straight forward, and Robert Herjavec is probably the second most brutally honest on the show, only he's not as "in your face." While the others are a bit more laid back, they still are pretty insightful and straight forward about the world of business.

The ideas on the show have also been really memorable. Some of which are extremely bizarre, like an alarm clock that wakes you up with bacon. Then there are some that are really good ideas, like nasal screens you put on your nose to filter out germs, that the sharks go at one another for. For the latter idea, Robert Herjavec made a four million dollar offer for 100% of the company. This offer was ultimately turned down for another offer that included a few sharks and more control of the business. The most recent episode featured a broom that features a scraper, which was a really intriguing idea. This turned into a war between the same offers and came down to who the stay-at-home dad and product inventor would rather work with. He picked Harrington and John over O'Leary and Herjavec. O'Leary went as far as wanting to talk with the man's wife when he asked to discuss it with her.

If you have nothing to do on Friday nights at eight, check out Shark Tank! You'll have a good time watching successful business people either fight over a good product, take down a bad product, or take down a business person who did a poor job as a business person. No matter what your reason may be, "Shark Tank" is going to make for a fun Friday night.

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